Last Updated 8/10/2023
If you’ve recently been arrested or charged with a crime, you’ll likely be dealng with a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. If the crime is a sexual offense, the road ahead may seem like a disaster that you will never recover from.
Rest assured, there is life for you to enjoy today and for years ahead. This, too, shall pass.
In an effort to support you during a confusing and difficult time, PARSOL would like to share some information about what you might expect before, during, and after being charged with a crime.
We will start with the basics. What are the steps one must take through the criminal justice system? Please have a look at this article from one of our allies, Recovery Behind Bars.
Finding a Good Attorney
PARSOL does not provide legal counsel. What we will do is provide you this list of questions to ask when seeking an attorney.
- Have you represented clients who have been accused of sex crimes?
- What are some outcomes of those cases?
- Do you have significant experience in the jurisdiction that I am to appear? (county, federal, etc.)
- Do you feel you have enough bandwidth to give my case reasonable attention, including walking me and my family through each step of the process?
- Are you able to meet every few weeks as we move through the process for updates and questions?
- Will others in your firm or other attorneys be working with you on my case?
- What fees will you charge and what do they include? Arraignment to Sentencing? SORNA/Megan’s Law hearing? Parole applications?
- Should I become incarcerated, how will I contact you? Will you come meet me in jail? What security/privacy concerns should I have?
If you are an attorney who wishes to purchase a listing in our legal resource directory, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Steps to Take
- Do not take any steps that violate your pre-trial or release conditions. This includes accessing this website and our organization’s resources. Be sure someone who is not connected to your charge is supervising your use of the internet or technology at all times, and if you aren’t supposed to access the internet, don’t do it.
- Seek the advice of an attorney. PARSOL is a legal information provider not a legal advisor or attorney and provides no legal advice.
- Have a trusted friend or family member rename and restrict all your online accounts. Meta (the company who owns Facebook and Instagram) have a “Zero Tolerance policy for allowing accounts from those who have been charged and convicted of sexual offenses” and can shut down your account (and delete all its content) at any time for violation of their policies. Not fair? Maybe. Reality? Definitely. We suggest having a trusted friend download all your photos, special posts, etc. and then change your name to a pseudonym, an email address that you do not have access to, and delete any potentially identifiable information such as birthdate, phone number, etc. Any information you must register with the police at some point can be used to shut down your account. Transfer any page or group ownership you have to someone else, too.
- Begin sessions with a Good Lives Model practicing SOTP (“sex offender” treatment program), whether court-ordered or not. – including Dr. Jennifer Weeks, CSAT at SATS in Bethlehem & Plymouth Meeting, Dr. David Pellack, CSAT at Keystone Center in Chester, PA, etc. (If you are a SOTP provider who practices GLM, please email email@example.com to be added here.)
- Begin attending FEARLESS and have your closest support team (parents, spouse, children, family, best friends, etc.) join as well.